Violating California driving and traffic laws can result in fines, the suspension of your driving privileges, and even imprisonment. The California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) uses a point system to track violations and their corresponding penalties. Points are added to your driving record if you receive a traffic ticket for moving violations.
MOVING VIOLATIONS AND POINTS
Different violations are assigned different point values, which are added to your driving record. For instance, disobedience with traffic or fire officer, failure to observe traffic signals, driving in a bicycle lane and crossing a divided highway carry one point each. Two-point offenses include reckless driving, driving with a suspended license and speed contests. No individual is allowed to reach a speed beyond 65 on CA highways. The number of points assessed for different speeding violations are as follows:
Exceeding the maximum speed of 70 mph:1 point
Exceeding the maximum speed of 100 mph: 2 points
View the complete Point Schedule to learn about the number of points associated with each type of moving violation.
You will be subject to specific penalties if you accumulate a certain number of points on your driving license:
- You will have your license suspended if you accumulate certain points over a certain time period as noted above on your current driving record. A Class C license holder is said to be negligent and can have his license suspended if he has 4 or more points over a 12-month period, 6 or more points in a 24-month period, or 8 or more points in a 36-month period. A class A or B license holder may be allowed to carry 2 additional points. A commercial vehicle violation amounts to 1.5 times the points assigned. An under-18 driver may either have a 30-day restriction imposed if he accumulates 2 points over 12 months or face suspension for scoring 3 points in 12 months. When you accumulate 2 points in 12 months or 4 points in 24 months or 6 points in 36 months, a warning letter will be mailed to you. When you are one point short of suspension, a Notice of Intent to Suspend will be mailed to you. If it is suspended, an Order of Probation/Suspension will be sent to you. You may be imprisoned for driving with a suspended license.
- Accumulating points on your driving license is also likely to increase your auto insurance rates. See our auto insurance section for more information about obtaining quality car insurance at competitive rates.
HOW TO CLEAR YOUR DRIVING RECORD
The California DMV maintains a record of all the points added to your driving license. However, there are a number of ways in which you can remove points from your current driving record.
- If you remain violation or suspension-free, you can get points deducted from your current driving record. Points get negated after a certain time period as shown below
- One points, and most two point violations, are negated after a three-year period.
- However, if you fail to appear in court, they remain in your record for five years.
- Failure to appear in court for a DUI will remain in court for ten years.
- Taking a Defensive Driving Course enables you to deduct points from your current driving record, and may also qualify you for a reduction in your car insurance rates.
- No points are deducted for pedestrian or bicyclist violations.
HOW TO DISPUTE A MOVING VIOLATION CHARGE
If you believe you have been incorrectly charged with committing a moving violation, you may be able to fight the charge in court. See Traffic Tickets and Traffic Ticket Attorneys for more information.